Category: Reading through the Gospel of Mark

Day 6 and the final day of reading through the Gospel of Mark. If you have not read the last chapter of Mark please do that. Watch the video above of Pastor Ron, even though he doesn’t share too much about the passage because he will be preaching on it this weekend. You will be able to hear that message by going to our website and then go to the sermon section where it will be listed.

After reading the last chapter of Mark, what were your reflections?

After reading through the Gospel this week, what has been your overall reaction? What have you learned that you didn’t know? What was your biggest take away from this discipline?

My reflections on Mark 16:

From the darkness of Good Friday to the very beginnings of the light of the Resurrection. The women came sad and left trembling and astonished. Could it possibly be that he is no longer in the tomb? What happened to him? Did someone take his body?Full of questions but different questions and feelings than what they came with.

Take note here that most Bibles have a little note after verse 8. It reads, “Some of the earliest manuscripts do not include 16:9-20.” Do not allow this to cause you alarm or throw you into a tailspin. Some people believe Mark ended his book at verse 8. At a later time some of Mark’s disciples added in verses 9-20 with what they heard him speak. I tend to be on the side that believes Mark meant to leave the last part off. With the fast pace nature of the book and the intent of showing Jesus to be the Son of God, he accomplished what he wanted and would have been happy for the book to end with people knowing the tomb was empty. He knew that someone else would pick up where he left off.

An example: Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” received many harsh judgements because at the end of the movie there wasn’t a huge resurrection scene. Jesus simply gets up, the linens are folded and he walks out into the light. That is the story he wanted to tell. He showed who Jesus was by what he said and what he did. To show that it was complete, he shows Jesus coming out of the tomb. What else do you need? You have a death and you have a resurrection; which is the story and the reason we have forgiveness and victory!

There is some good stuff that happens in verses 9-16 (and some stuff that has been distorted, like the poison and snake handling) but I like the book ending with trembling and astonishment. What do you think? Did Mark intend for the book to continue? Or do you think from your reading that he would have wanted it to end at the empty tomb? It is okay either way, just wanted to see what you thought.

These are my reactions, what are yours?

Have a blessed Easter celebration wherever you are at!


Day 5 of our journey through Passion week. We have been reading through the Gospel of Mark three chapters a day this whole week. We have been preparing our hearts and minds once again this year to see the death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We know that without Good Friday there is no Easter Sunday. We witness the death so that Jesus’ resurrection is that much sweeter. Read chapters 13-15 of Mark. Watch the video that is posted above of Pastor Ron. After hearing from him add your thoughts. What is it that grabbed your heart as you read the Word today?

Today is Good Friday and so many wonder why we would call the death of a man on a cross, “Good.” Many people equate the word Good with Happy or Joyful. That is where the misunderstanding comes in. Good Friday is usually marked with prayer, fasting, focus on suffering, and a general sense of soberness. Good Friday has always challenged mere human goodness. It’s a sad commemoration which reminds us that in the face of sin, our goodness does nothing. Only One is good enough to save us. Because Jesus did, it is cause for celebration.

Here are a couple of my thoughts on chapters 13-15:

Chapter 13:11- “Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” Jesus was speaking to his disciples about a time that will come when it will be difficult to be a follower of Jesus. We do not have to be burdened about what we will say or what people will think, the Holy Spirit will have a message we can declare. Stand firm, be on guard for there will be those who will want to shake us and take our confession.

Chapter 14:31- “But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.” Sometimes we leave Peter out to dry in this whole matter, but it stood out to me today that “all the others said the same.” How quickly, when push came to shove, the disciples could not bear what Jesus was going to endure. Verse 50- “Then everyone deserted him and fled.” Jesus knew what would happen as they all abandoned him. Post-resurrection this will change. Lord, may your followers always be able to stand for you!

Mark 15- The Passion story unfolds. The leaders spur on hatred and it catches on. The people present there shout “Crucify him!” The shame of a trial, the false accusers, the corrupt leaders looking to eliminate a threat to their power…all catch my attention. But I want to focus on verse 39- “And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!'” This statement brings me back to the beginning of the book Chapter 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The purpose for writing the book was to show that Jesus was who he said he was. We have a Roman Centurion at Jesus’ death who finally gets it. We preach and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We know that by the power of the Holy Spirit, hearts will be opened and changed even at the sight of his death.

May God’s peace be with you on this solemn day of Good Friday.

Day 4 of reading through the Gospel of Mark. We are on chapters 10-12. If you have not read them yet, please do that. Then watch the video of Pastor Ron as he shares two particular insights from his reading today. Finally, share your own insights, because out of three chapters there will be more than two thoughts. I will look forward to hearing from you. It is through others reactions and reflections we can learn more about the Word of God.

Here are a few of my reflections:

Chapter 10:13-ff- Jesus has time for all people. Especially those that are viewed as the lowest of the society. Children were loved, but they were also viewed as servants of the household. Jesus says faith like that of these little infants is the way to receive the kingdom of God. The story that follows is a direct example of this. A rich, young ruler wants to know the secret to eternal life; what must he do? Jesus is saying have faith like these babies. It is not a faith that is void of evidence but a faith that is secure in salvation through Jesus.

The end of chapter 10 Jesus is talking about dying and his disciples are concerned about who is going to be the greatest. How easily we can lose perspective when our focus is on us.

Chapter 11- Jesus seems a little grumpy when he comes to the court of the Gentiles at the temple. He starts overturning tables and seats of those present. Even though these money changers were always there Jesus is angry because it should be a place of prayer for all nations. This opens up access to God unlike anyone had ever done because he included the Gentiles.

Chapter 12- “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone…” The builders of the house forgot to put the cornerstone in. The house will never be complete without the cornerstone. Jesus is essential for our foundation. When we remove him, we remove what is essential and the foundation is in danger of cracking and collapsing. What condition is your foundation in today?

Great chapters from Mark and Great news from God today.

Day 3 of reading through the Gospel of Mark during Holy Week. We are on chapters 7-9. If you have not read the chapters for today, do that first. Then, listen to the video above and hear from Pastor Ron what caught his attention this morning. Finally, add your own thoughts of the places that made you stop and think. You can do that either on this page or on our Facebook page.

My thoughts for today on chapters 7-9:

The end of chapter 7 Jesus has an interesting way of healing.  The man was deaf and had a speech impediment. Jesus takes his fingers and puts them in his ears and then spits on his fingers and puts them on the man’s tongue. This is an unorthodox way of healing. But if you think about it, the man was deaf so he could not hear Jesus say a word to heal him. The way this man communicated was by lip-reading or by touch. Jesus puts his fingers into the mans ears to communicate with him and then at a word is still healed. It amazes me to see Jesus meet people at every level, whether whole or with imperfection.

Feeding of the four thousand, Jesus is amazed that the disciples didn’t realize he could do this. Jesus points back to the previous time he did it with the 5,000 people. How easily we forget what God can do. It is more like, what have you done for me lately?

Love the reminder of Jesus once again, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” This is a daily pursuit to follow after the one who did it all for me. Because “What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul.” Amen to that!

Chapter 9- there is the father of the boy who is demon possessed. Jesus says, “All things are possible for one who believes.” And the Father said, “I believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus is the only way to combat doubts. If we try to confront doubt with anything other than Faith, doubt will win every time. Great reminder for me and all people of faith as we travel this Passion road with Jesus this week.

So what caught your attention? Look forward to hearing from you.

Day 2 of the journey through the Gospel of Mark. Read through chapters 4-6, watch the video and hear from Pastor Ron his thoughts and then add your own thoughts.

I have a few random thoughts that I would like to add on chapters 4-6 that caused me to stop and pause.

Jesus teaches everything in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.”  I wrote a blog piece about this a number of weeks ago, but it still catches me off guard because I wonder why Jesus doesn’t just tell them plainly.

I like the question the disciples ask at the end of Chapter 4. “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?” Jesus is way bigger than they can wrap their puny little minds around. I constantly have to remind myself that Jesus is way bigger than my mind can handle also.

The end of chapter 4 and all of chapter 5 Jesus shows that he has power over the elements, demons, sickness and death itself. What a wonderful reminder that Jesus has all control and power and I can trust him with my life with all the little problems and occurrences.

Chapter 6 Jesus is rejected in his hometown. But it was a slow process. Jesus speaks and people are amazed, but then it is almost as if they just realize, wait a second this guy can’t have authority because he is like us. “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? Is not this the carpenter…” A prophet is not without honor in his own hometown. People simply can’t get over who they think Jesus is. Do you get caught up in the familiar things of Jesus, only to miss the boat on who or what he is trying to say? I know it is very easy.

The John the baptist story sticks out. The story is moving along quickly until Mark mentions John the Baptist dying which he feels is an important part of the story. Herod is a little freaked out that Jesus might be John the Baptist back from the dead, who was killed by his order. Has the “Holy Man” come back to seek revenge? Interesting story!

Jesus feeds the 5,000 which is a cool story, but what stuck out to me again was the story that followed it. The disciples are out on the boat, Jesus was up on the mountain praying in solitude and he comes out on the water and just starts walking on it. The story is familiar but what stood out was when it said, “He meant to pass by them…” What was Jesus doing? He was out there walking on water and it is not just to show off in front of his disciples. He was out taking a stroll on the lake. Wow!

These are my thoughts, what are yours?

Look forward to hearing back from you.

Pastor Ron Burcham challenged the people of Gloria Dei to prepare their hearts this passion week by reading through the Gospel of Mark. Three chapters a day will get you to the place where we can be prepared for the Easter resurrection. This challenge is not just for the people of Gloria Dei. Please feel free to join us wherever you are. We will be updating this page daily throughout Holy Week, so check back here to hear thoughts concerning the Gospel.

This is day one of the challenge. Listen to the video above and hear from Pastor Ron about his thoughts concerning the first three chapters. If you haven’t had the chance to read the first three chapters do that. Then add your thoughts either on this page or on our Facebook page.

Feel free to add any other ways in which you prepare for the passion week. We would love to hear from you.

Blessings on the Holy Week ahead!

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